Former Rays top prospect and 2011 first round draft pick, Taylor Guerrieri, went on a twitter rant this evening, noting that he's sober and here to inspire others.
In October of 2013, Guerrieri was suspended 50 games for a second positive test result on a drug test, likely for marijuana, while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Prior to the surgery, he'd thrown 67 innings with a 2.01 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 12 walks in his age 20 season.
The elbow trouble was detected when Guerrieri could no longer throw his self-taught curve, and he subsequently lost a full season of A-ball rehabbing his arm. Still full of potential, he's expected to return for Spring Training, where hopefully he'll be able to showcase the developing change, which Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics recently mentioned has climbed into plus-plus potential.
"When he was pitching for Hudson Valley [in 2012], you saw superior stuff and 'Major Leagues' written all over him. He has plus-plus stuff. Plus-plus fastball, curveball and changeup. And he showed that that year in Hudson Valley."
Lukevics to Ashley Marshall, MILB.com
All those positive pitching marks now need reinforced by a correct mindset.
Guerrieri is here to tell you he has that mindset, which presumably includes avoiding drugs.
Music is my drug. Like I'm sober & will let you know— Taylor Guerrieri (@TaylorG1201) December 1, 2014
By the time he had concluded, Guerrieri's late night soap box spanned 28 tweets. The full text is as follows:
Music is my drug. Like I'm sober & will let you know
I'm not here for RTs
I'm here to relate & influence ppl with happiness
Lose it all & you'll become a man real quick & ppl respond so I know that I'll be successful bc I listen
I'm way deeper than my reputation & if stereotype me, I will prove you wrong
Call it cockiness. I really don't care what you think & this is me. If you have any questions, pls ask bc I'm so secure with myself now
This is why I have Twitter & this is what I've always wanted to do with social media
Influencing ppl with my profession is what makes me happy.
I'm just focused
See what a bad rep with good intentions can become?
I promise I do this for the ppl that told me I couldn't
I will be successful without baseball bc I took crap for 21 years. I'm 22 tomorrow & what u see is what u get
I use to want to fit in but why? Just so society can judge me even more
No thanks. Be happy
Anyways, I'm a new person. If you're a fan, [hands raised emoticon]. If not, [peace sign]
I'll stop bc I don't want to be perceived as cocky
Just know I'm not timid anymore
And I love feedback.
I will always show you respect bc everybody deserves it
I'm not doing this for anybody but myself.
& my parents lol
& friend but you get the point
K well I'm done. I'm gonna go enjoy myself now. Bye Twitter. Like, I might now be back cuz my ego is irrelevant. Make yourself happy!!!!!!
You will never see this side of me again. Bc I'm confidently humbled bc of my roller coaster career.
Seen it all & I thank which ever God accepts my prayers
Seriously tho I'm gonna stop
Guerrieri also re-tweeted several encouragements he received along the way.
The Rays do things quietly, in the front office and on the field, and that's normally something passed on to the players. While Guerrieri did not say anything controversial, the amount of activity from his account was rare for a Rays prospect. He even received encouragement from another Rays arm, Clayton Crum:
"@TaylorG1201: I will always show you respect bc everybody deserves it" and this is why your'e my bestfriend— Clayton Crum (@ClaytonCrum47) December 1, 2014
Concluding the quotes from Marshall's article on MILB.com:
"We continue to try and educate our players prior, during and after [suspension]," Lukevics said. "And what takes place, we tell them, 'You made a mistake, young man. Make good on it. You have your whole life ahead of you, a whole career ahead of you. Is this what you really want in life? If so, make good on the task at hand and move forward.'
Speaking with MLB.com's Bill Chastain, Lukevics had more thoughts on the pitcher's suspension.
"One of the things with these young high school kids -- for the most part, they have a lot of growing up to do. When Taylor got here, he had a lot of growing up to do."
To his credit, Guerrieri reiterated to Chastain that he has every intention of becoming a new person, as his twitter rant indicated this evening:
"I'm just really trying to stay positive throughout this whole process. I'm always going to be that guy now. I put myself in that situation, and I'm just going to try and move past it.
"I want to stay healthy. I never want to go through this process again. And I've made great strides in my work ethic, my personality, too. Being injured will definitely humble you. All around, I would say it's a good thing that it happened."
Those quotes were in September, and something about becoming a new person came to a head on social media two months later. If anything, it's interesting to read. I'm glad he's staying positive and staying sober.
Now go show us that change.